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April 3, 2010
K. CLIJSTERS/V. Williams
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Saw you were playing with the bandages after the first game. The trainer came out. Seemed like new bandages. Is that a new injury on that leg?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just needed more support on this leg today. I had her come out and give me more support, and that helped.
Q. Any affect on your play, the injury?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think the extra tape helped.
Q. Have you ever had such a frustrating day when your strokes won't behave?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, it just seemed like unfortunately I -- you know, sometimes when you hit a few bad shots it's not as easy to reel it in, and things start to go a little bit quicker.
You know, every now and then it happens to the best of us. I think this happened to Kim in Australia, so I think she knows what it's like.
Wasn't the best day, but that's, I guess, sport sometimes. Of course, I expect a lot from myself, but I'll be ready for my next competition.
Q. Were you having timing issues with the serve today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I think -- you know, I think it was more or less my groundstrokes. I mean, on my serve I go for it a lot, so that's kind of the norm.
I mean, I did start missing more first serves in the second set, so that didn't help my cause.
Q. How were you in practice? Were you sensing it wasn't your day?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't ever feel like it's not my day. I don't think that way.
Q. So you felt good at the start of the match? When did you start not feeling right?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, obviously just against a player like Kim, if you make too many errors, you know, the match can go quickly. I mean, I think she hit eight winners, so it wasn't -- she played extremely solid, but it's not like I was blown off the court.
Unfortunately I was my own worst enemy today.
Q. Your power is a great asset. With the clay coming up there's a premium on consistency. Is that a concern with your groundstrokes at this stage?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Should it be a concern of mine?
Q. Well, that's up to you to answer. Depends how well you felt you were hitting it.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was just wondering what you thought.
Q. Well, overall.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Overall, I believe in me and my game. So no matter what the surface, I'm ready to play.
Q. At one point did you consider like a T.O. talk to a coach, Serena, dad, anybody?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I mean, it has to come from within for me. Just has to come from within.
Q. What are you feeling when the match is going so quickly like that and just nothing is going right? How did you keep playing? What keeps you going? What are you thinking or feeling at that point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, at all points I'm thinking about getting back into the match. That's what I'm here for: to play and to win.
But, you know, maybe I should have went for a little less. Even when I was down I was still going for the shots. Maybe that wasn't the exact right mentality today.
Like I said, she played really consistently. Maybe she didn't play a lot of winners, but she did try to force an error. So it was smart.
Sometimes when your opponent is not playing as well it can throw you off. But, you know, she played smart to just get the ball in play.
Q. Physically today how far off from 100% were you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Today wasn't my best day physically. To fight errors and not feel your best, it's a really mental battle.
But, um, mentally and physically you have to fight out there at all times.
Q. Ever feel like throwing Serena your racquet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. No. Same thing last year with her. She had a tough match, too. But, um, we always encourage each other.
Q. You have a few weeks off now. Do you rest the knees and not go on the court? Do you start practicing right away?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'll definitely take a rest now.
Q. How long?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's an unspecified time at the moment (laughter.) But I will take a rest and get ready for the clay court season.
Q. Have you managed to talk to Mary Joe...
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think she wants to talk to me about Fed Cup right now. (Laughter.) Wouldn't be the best answer right now.
I think she has been smart enough not ask me about Fed Cup. I'm sure she'll come and say hi, but she'll wait a few days until I'm feeling a little better and a little less in the moment.
Q. What's your reaction?
VENUS WILLIAMS: To be honest, I always want to play Fed Cup. I mean, to be honest, my goal was to see how I felt physically after this tournament. I do want to play and support the United States.
Also, I think it would be nice to have the matches, too. So obviously I will have to make a decision pretty quickly. We'll see soon.
Q. What is it exactly that's wrong with the left leg?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, what's wrong is that I needed the support. Like my knee, sometimes they need the support. At times more than others.
So that's really what happened.
Q. Was it in pain?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was like needing supportiveness.
Q. It was in pain. Does it often get worse through a tournament. Do you feel that by the semifinals?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think sometimes you have to be careful with practice, not to practice too long. I may have made a mistake with that a little bit. I know better, but Eager V kind of burst through.
Overall I'm really happy with the tournament. Unfortunately, today I didn't win the match, although I feel like this is a match I can win.
Unfortunately I made it a little bit too easy. Next time around I'll play better.
Q. You just said the other day that you hadn't had a very long stretch where your knee felt good. Are we still in that stretch?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, we're still in that stretch. Still in the feeling-good stretch.
Q. Is it surprising to see how well Kim has done after her comeback and Justine to just be able to go through a lot of top-ranked players right off the top?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, they're playing really, really well. This is just great and amazing for them. They're playing great.
Q. Did you feel the support from the crowd when they started cheering when you were down in the second set?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. The support from the crowd was great. It was unfortunate that I couldn't give more today. I was just unable to push today as much as I wanted. I just couldn't. I tried. I just was unable.
But it was good to feel the support. Still mentally I was thinking to find a way to get into the match.
Q. What do you do when you take time off? How do you spend your time off?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I eat a lot less, because I spend a lot of time eating a lot of food that I don't want to eat. So I skip meals. This is probably bad, but it's a splurge for me.
For most people it's a splurge to eat more, but it's a splurge for me to skip meals. And I stay up late because I don't have to go to bed early. So that's what I do when I have time off.
Q. Do you drive from home to your matches?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I stay down here. It's a rather long drive. It can be a lot of traffic.
Q. Oh, yeah, a lot traffic today.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Scary.
End of FastScripts